UPDATE: The developer of a new Veterans Administration outpatient clinic to be built in Columbus, confirmed to News 3 that he was notified by the VA on Tuesday his company had been selected.
The confirmation came from Rick Baier, a principal with Kansas City-based U.S. Federal Properties this afternoon. An official announcement will be forthcoming from the VA in the coming days, Baier said.
He said a site at the corner of River Road and Mobley Road will be where the new clinic will go. His confirmation came less than 30 minutes after News 3 reported, using multiple anonymous sources, that the north Columbus site had been chosen.
U.S. Federal Properties has built or is in the process of building numerous VA Clinics throughout the Southeast and the U.S. Those locations include Chattanooga, Mobile, Ala., Montgomery, Ala., Atlanta, Pensacola, Fla., Lubbock, Texas and in Arizona.
According to Baier, the project in Columbus is expected to be completed in 24 months.
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The Veterans Administration has informed developers that it has selected a north Columbus site for a new VA outpatient clinic in West Georgia, multiple sources tell News 3.
The clinic is scheduled to be built on a 13-acre site at the northeast corner of River Road and Mobley Road.
WRBL News 3 reached out to U.S. Representatives Drew Ferguson, (R-West Point), and Sanford Bishop, (D-Columbus) for confirmation. Bishop told News 3 he had not been informed of a decision.
Last Thursday, Bishop told people attending a Columbus town hall meeting that a decision from the VA was imminent.
Ferguson’s office said it had not gotten confirmation from the VA. The site selected would be in the southern end of Ferguson’s district.
This selection process has been an off-and-on deal since 2013. Sources tell News 3 that the River Road and Mobley Road site has been under consideration from the beginning.
In September 2018, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported that the former Blue Cross and Blue Shield office site on Warm Springs Road was selected to construct a $62.4 million outpatient VA clinic.
Construction was reportedly to begin in early 2019, with an estimated completion by spring 2021. That deal died last year, forcing the VA to look for a new developer.
The deal came down to two sites, sources tell News 3. The one that was selected and another location off Victory Drive, closer to Fort Benning. The clinic will serve up to 30,000 veterans who live in the Chattahoochee Valley.
News 3 will continue to follow this story throughout the day.
Timeline of events as VA planned for the new clinic’s construction:
- July 2013 — Veterans Administration and its consultants do studies and select an area of Columbus accessible to VA clients. A developer will invest and build a new 50,0000 square foot clinic. New VA clinics are being built and proposed in Birmingham,Ala., Jacksonville, Fla., Hinesville, Ga., and Savannah.
- August 7, 2013 — VA representatives come to Columbus to tour sites in area selected by VA. Developers also in town looking at sites.
- October 22, 2014 — Conference in Columbus where VA and Consultant review bid process.VA notifies developers of approved sites.Developers do soil and other studies,do site plans for sites and prepare fully engineered plans for 70,000 square foot building.
- December 1, 2014 — Bids were due.
- March 5, 2015 — VA/Consultant narrow list of bid proposals to U.S. Federal Properties, Hokanson Companies, Inc.EDT and JTW Development, LLC. They all used a 13-acre site at River and Mobley Roads.
- February 4, 2016 — VA notifies Developers that they will stop process and start over in Columbus.
- September 13, 2018 — Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that the former Blue Cross and Blue Shield office site on Warm Springs Road was selected to construct a $62.4 million outpatient VA clinic. Construction was reportedly to begin in early 2019, with an estimated completion by spring 2021.
- Summer 2019 — VA decides not to use Blue Cross and Blue Shield office site and looks for other options.
- January 23, 2020 — U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Columbus, tells a townhall in Georgia that a decision on VA site has been made and will be announced in coming days. He says developers have been notified.
- January 29, 2020 — Rick Baier, Principal at US Federal Properties Co. LLC says the VA Clinic in North Columbus is expected to be completed in 24 months.